Stephanie Elliott of Venice, Fla., asks, "Whatever happened to ... ?" child star Margaret O'Brien
Legendary actress Margaret O'Brien was dubbed "America's Sweetheart" for her precocious performances in 15 films in the 1940s.
She won a special Oscar for her touching portrayal of "Tootie" in the 1944 film version of "Meet Me In St. Louis," starring Judy Garland. Their cake-walk duet has gone down in movie history. Miss O'Brien also appeared notably in "Jane Eyre" (1944), "Little Women" (1949), and "The Secret Garden" (1949).
Known for her charming childlike persona, O'Brien had difficulty making the transition from child to adult star. Her career slowed. She made her last major film in 1960, "Heller In Pink Tights."
O'Brien turned from Hollywood to family, devoting herself to her husband and daughter. She continued to make brief personal appearances and give occasional interviews.
Her last public appearances were in the early 1980s when she rode on floats in the Los Angeles Christmas Parade. She cameoed in "Amy" in 1981.
She currently lives in Los Angeles.